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I'm off to hot and sunny climes this week and I was wondering if I need a UV or Skylight filter. Since I shall be about 4 degrees south of the equator, the sunlight will be very direct and intense. Must admit I don't think I've ever used either of these filters so don't know much about them.
Did a search on the web and some say that digital sensors are not sensitive to UV light and no filters are required. However, others say that intense sunlight bouncing off the sea can cause a 'blueish' tinge if you don't use a filter. So, has anyone used one in similar circumstances? Any suggestions ?
Thanks in advance.
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I don't use UV or skylight filters as I believe they are just another bit unnecessary glass that can degrade the image. I would only use them if you really have to i.e. going to a dusty or sandy place where grit might damage the lens or if the lens might come into for some rough treatment. It's better to have a smashed filter than a smashed lens.
I always use UV filters. But make sure you only get top quality ones. My own preference is for the B+W MRC range: these are dust resistant and you'll find you don't need to clean them much... certainly less than a bare camera lens (which always runs the rsik of scratching the thin coatings).
Quote: It's better to have a smashed filter than a smashed lens
For this reason alone I use them on all but my widest angle lenses - for these the filter gets in the way when using my filter kit and I end up with vignetting from the filter holder.
Considering the relatively small cost (compared with the cost of the holiday !) I shall probably fit a UV filter if only to protect the lens from salt/sand as suggested.
Thanks to all.
Assuming you are digital you definitely do not want a UV or skylight.
Digital sensors and lens cements filter out UV for you. Most UV filters prevent purple colours being accurately recorded.
The intended warm up effect of a skylight is usually canceled by AWB and you end up reducing camera shutter speeds by about a third of a stop.
The filters our parents (skylight) or grandparents (UV) might have used in the era of Black and white film, are rarely an optical need with digital.
If you decide on a filter Nikon, Canon, Hoya, B&W (and others) make clear filters with none of the disadvantages of UV & skylight - if your local camera shop does not stock clear filters they are only interested in selling you the wrong product at an inflated price.
As to "protection" having worked in insurance scratched front elements due to a thin flat filter breaking were much more common than damaged lenses.
Filters generally offer less protection than lens hoods and offer no protection for a significant impacts, maybe including the camera body if you drop both .
Insurance by way of a Household policy extension provides protection for all lens (and body) impacts plus theft, often at 20% or less for a lens than the cost of a good filter.
As you do not intend to shoot in sand storms my advice is make sure you have decent insurance, forget about filters for protection, and spend the saving on something else
Len, the fine print of many insurance policies excluded damage to lenses unless the camera had also been damaged. In many cases, there's no insurance cover for scratched front elements!
I was wondering if anyone has thought of informing the likes of Canon that there expensive lenses are missing this extra layer of glass?
Canon actually tells you that to complete the weather sealing on the 17-40mm L lens you do have to fit a filter. So I think they do know about it! And they also offer their own range of filters.
Jules, the "front element" of most of the big Nikon telephoto lenses is a UV filter in all but name and is designed to be replaced by the service facility in the event of damage.
Quote: Assuming you are digital you definitely do not want a UV or skylight.
Digital sensors and lens cements filter out UV for you.
Interesting. Having previously looked on the web I noticed that others have said the opposite (although that doesn't mean that you're wrong of course!) Someone, somewhere must buy these filters as there is a huge range available from the likes of Hoya, BW, Tiffen etc. Personally, I don't know what the answer is but, as I said previously, I'll err on the side of caution and buy a UV filter for my 17-40 and 24-105. I'll take some shots with the filter fitted and then the same shot with the filter removed and see what happens. I can't believe that a good quality UV/Skylight filter will degrade the image in any way and the effects can only be positive.
Quote: I can't believe that a good quality UV/Skylight filter will degrade the image in any way
The key is in what you say, i.e. good quality.
The anti-alias filter fitted over the sensor of most DSLR cameras will do the same job as a poor quality UV filter.
Back in the good old days, when the Kodak DCS760 was as prone to moiré as the new D800, one practical cure was to use a #1 softar on the lens.
Quote: Len, the fine print of many insurance policies excluded damage to lenses unless the camera had also been damaged. In many cases, there's no insurance cover for scratched front elements!
I am a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (the top qualification) - I have never in 40 years in insurance seen a policy wording that requires a camera body to be damaged before paying out on a lens.
I have not seen a "scratching, bruising or denting" exclusion on a household all risks extension, or a contents all risks cover to a household policy for over 20 years.
Quote: Canon actually tells you that to complete the weather sealing on the 17-40mm L lens you do have to fit a filter.
That is only because this particular lens has less water sealing than average
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